Waiting...yep that’s probably one of my least favorite things on earth. I’m just not a fan...Chloe submitted her application in July, well before the November deadline, and shortly after we attended PreVU day and spent a week checking out Nashville. Chloe skated with Robert a couple of times and visited campus. Yes, folks, she had stars in her eyes and her dreams TOTALLY set on attending Vanderbilt University! Marcus was pretty convinced they’d call her for an interview, but I remained skeptical (and that had more to do with refusing to put all of her eggs in one basket rather than Chloe as a candidate).
So, I STRONGLY encouraged her to apply to other schools. Chloe of course took this in stride and we began making a priority list and color coded folders! I knew that we’d hear about Vandy in January and that most of the other schools she planned to apply to had a March 1 deadline. Chloe was THRILLED to get an email invite for trial day. We immediately went shopping and made travel arrangements! I remember waking up the day of her interview - ironically the weekend of our wedding anniversary - and thinking how truly amazing this was for her. I explained to her that not everyone gets this far with their dream. That sometimes the people in charge have to make tough decisions and tell applicants no. She confessed that her goal that day was to meet everyone and get accepted. You’ve gotta love her tenacity. So I curled her hair and as Marcus and I dropped her off, I can’t say which one of us was more nervous. What I can say is that we were ALL rooting for team Chloe. Her trial day was itemized and mirrored to fit a day in the life of a college student on campus. At the end of the day, we met with Tammy Day once again. She went over the itinerary and feedback and word on the street was that Chloe remained a strong candidate for the program. I’m sorry, can you repeat that? I just lost it over here. I don’t know how I contained myself at the time, but Marcus swears I did.
Once we returned home to Chicagoland, Chloe was convinced she’d made it in. She began wearing Vandy gear and telling EVERYONE who would listen about her trial day. I was proud yes, but Chloe was inspiring other differently-abled students to do what she was: to dream big and think about college! I know for a fact that others applied and toured BECAUSE she inspired them. That’s powerful, folks! That’s what it’s really about! It’s not about being the best — it’s about stepping up and extending your hand to help someone else stand taller right next to you. This was a personal triumph for me because I taught her to pay it forward — she was learning the value of that, firsthand.
Chloe reluctantly applied to two other schools and then in January 15th, I received a phone call. I had that day, a Sunday, marked on my calendar. There were times when I counted the days. Call me crazy, but I just wanted Chloe to achieve HER goal. And...she did! But here’s the kicker, the phone call told me that she was accepted and that a packet was being sent. They asked me NOT to share this with Chloe and to film it as she opened the envelope. So, Marcus and I did what any happily crazed parents would do — we stalked the mailbox, cleaned the house, made manicure appointments and waited for the letter to arrive!
When it did, I had ONE HAPPY GIRL! I don’t think at first Chloe realized what the letter said because she was so nervous, but once she understood - she cried. Later she told me they were tears of joy. So that’s it. That’s Chloe’s journey from start to finish - with as much detail as I can remember - it’s how she became #vandysnewestfreshman. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading it as much as we’ve enjoyed recounting it!